CareCredit - Women's Health April 2024

Former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Aims to Buy TikTok

TikTok

Former Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin is assembling a group of investors to attempt to purchase TikTok.

Mnuchin told CNBC about this plan Thursday (March 14), a day after the U.S. House of Representatives voted to force TikTok’s owner, Chinese company ByteDance, to sell its U.S. operations or face a ban of the app, CNBC reported Thursday.

The bill approved by the House is now headed for the Senate, where its fate is uncertain, according to the report. President Joe Biden has said he will sign the bill if it is passed.

Mnuchin, who now leads Liberty Strategic Capital, told CNBC that the bill should be passed and that TikTok’s U.S. operations should be sold, per the report. He added that the social media app should be owned by a U.S. company and that Chinese government would never let a U.S. company own such an app in that country.

The House voted 352-65 Wednesday (March 13) in favor of the legislation, with supporter Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), saying that ByteDance’s ownership of TikTok was putting user data and influence over U.S. children in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

An opponent of the bill, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, said that the bill was rushed and that she was concerned about potential antitrust issues and privacy issues tied to the legislation.

In a statement posted Wednesday on X, TikTok said: “This process was secret and the bill was jammed through for one reason: it’s a ban. We are hopeful that the Senate will consider the facts, listen to their constituents, and realize the impact on the economy, 7 million small businesses, and the 170 million Americans who use our service.”

TikTok also faces challenges in the European Union, where the European Commission (EC) said in February that it has opened formal proceedings against the app under the Digital Services Act.

The EC said it is acting on concerns related to the protection of minors, advertising transparency, data access for researchers, and the management of addictive design and harmful content on the platform.

Mnuchin’s expressed interest in buying TikTok comes about a week after it was announced that Liberty Strategic Capital plans to invest $450 million as part of a $1 billion equity investment in New York Community Bancorp (NYCB).

In connection with that transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval and other conditions, Mnuchin will join the NYCB board of directors.